Adam Elements provide proof that the USB Type-C floodgates are opening
I’m a complete sucker for classy looking technology, and the ROMA by Adam Elements certainly fits that bill. Its precision metal finish and leather strap elevate it well above the plethora of plastic devices we’re pushed by other brands. My only initial concern was that like many Apple-related products there would be a major cost implication to this level of build quality. Amazingly, at least based on the MSRP I was provided, this is quite competitively priced for a 64GB flash drive. Adam Elements also plans at 128GB model in the near future, though I’ve no pricing for that currently.
I mentioned Apple earlier, and coincidentally this drive is going to be popular with new MacBook owners first. Because, in addition to the usual USB interface, the Roma rotates to reveal a USB Type-C port, as used on Apple’s latest hardware.
I’ve seen a few of these either/or designs before, but usually they fail rather miserably in delivering good speed over normal USB, but rubbish performance over USB Type-C. Thankfully, that’s not a problem with the Roma.
Having tested this one, the ROMA breaks that losing streak, by being as quick over USB Type-C as USB 3.0, making it a potentially perfect companion for anyone with both ports on their equipment.
The makers claim that the Roma drive can achieve 130MB/s, though initially I had some difficulties getting it to go that fast. Some system tweaking later it achieved that speed – and better using USB 3.1 and the Type-C connection.
Or rather it did at reading, because at writing this drive is rather disappointing at about 20MB/s. That makes it ideal for distributing installations and data to devices, using either connector, but slow at getting the files on there to begin with. How much of an issue that is for you depends on how you use these things, but for someone wanting to catch and early train home after dumping his work files to it, the ROMA might not be looking so ideal now.
Having used this drive for a while I’ve only one other minor complaint against it beyond its slow writing speed. And that’s the rotational mechanism, which ironically moves far too smoothly. That can cause it to twist while you are trying to insert the drive.
What it really needed was a dimple with a small sprung bearing so that when just twisted it around it locked in each of the selected directions. Other than that minor point, it’s a great design that looks wonderful with its personal grooming aesthetics and unique styling.
My only hope is that Adam Elements can follow up the Roma with a design that allows the write speed to reach speeds that are better than the measley 15% of the read performance it’s currently offering. If that became the case, then I’d have absolutely no qualms about recommending their products.
However, for the first Adam Elements device I’ve covered, there was plenty to like here. What’s for sure is that I’m excited to see more from them in the future. Mark Pickavance
Dual USB port support and a decent read speed.
• Dual Interface: Type-C USB and USB 3.0 connectors
• Capacity: 64GB
• Swivel-Cap design, no worries on losing cap.
• Premium Zinc alloy and aluminium casing
• Compatible with USB Type-C enabled MacBook, Chromebook Pixel and devices
• USB 3.1 performance for speeds up to 130MB/s